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HomeNewsBathurstTriple Eight cops Bathurst pit penalty

Triple Eight cops Bathurst pit penalty

TRIPLE Eight’s hopes of winning the 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour have copped a major blow thanks to a drive-through penalty with just over a quarter of the race remaining.

The #888 entry of German AMG ace Maxi Goetz and Supercars stars Shane van Gisbergen and Broc Feeney was deemed to have breached the pit stop regulations.

The infringement consisted of adjusting the car’s rear wing while it was in its pit box for its seventh stop of the day.

Team manager Mark Dutton explained on the television broadcast that the team had made an error.

“It’s definitely on us, we put our hand up,” he said.

“We misread the rules and got a bit excited on working out the best way to tune the car and service it and forgot that you can’t have those tools doing any work in pit lane.

“You can see on the TV we adjusted the wing: to do that the proper way is to bring that car into the garage, we did it outside…. really disappointed with myself on that one.”

The Triple Eight Mercedes dropped off the lead lap shortly after taking the penalty, the race leading SunEnergy1 AMG sweeping by the seventh-placed Goetz just before the nine-hour mark.

Triple Eight’s fateful rear wing adjustment came as the team tries to improve the handling of the Supercheap Auto-backed car.

Van Gisbergen lost significant ground in the ninth hour, which co-driver Feeney said was due to a handling imbalance.

“(It was just) comfort in the car,” said Feeney of the Kiwi’s struggle.

“Even in my stint I was struggling quite a lot with the balance and being a little unpredictable at times.

“The cold tyre switching on has been really difficult for us as a team and I think a lot of people down pitlane.

“It’s something that we need to get better to be more competitive at the end of this race.”

Feeney starred in qualifying on Saturday to put the Triple Eight entry on the front-row of the grid and is expected to be behind the wheel for the finish.

All Mercedes runners copped a 10kg minimum weight increase following qualifying, where the #999 GruppeM entry broke the qualifying lap record to score pole position.

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